Ronnie Lazaro is oblivious. Arriving in a neat grey suit, dark blue shirt, hair in a sleek bun, he has no clue that in this year’s list of the Most Beautiful actors, he is named “The Idol”.
While the 99 others in YES! Magazine’s 100 Most Beautiful Stars for 2012 were grouped in categories such as the “New Breed,” “Breakthrough Artists,” “Hosts,” “A-list,” etc., Ronnie is placed in a spot all his—The Idol— if only to highlight his achievements as an actor and because his talent is inimitable in the industry.
“My name is Ronnie Lazaro and...,” this he shakily tells a group of reporters at the press launch. Not that these writers needed to be informed.
The Gawad Urian Best Actor and three-time nominee is congratulated for his most recent film, Ang Mga Kidnaper ni Ronnie Lazaro, which bagged the first Sineng Pambansa National Film Festival Awards. The entire cast of the Sigfreid Barros-Sanchez independent film won an ensemble award for Best Actor.
“I’m glad you’re asking me about that because nobody’s talking about Ang Mga Kidnapper ni Ronnie Lazaro,” he says. “But I’m very happy. I’m so proud about this film!”
Ang Mga Kidnapper ni Ronnie Lazaro is a black comedy on how independent films are made. It stars a roster of renowned indie actors like Noni Buencamino, Epy Quizon, Joel Torre, Soliman Cruz, Dwight Gaston, Mercedes Cabral and Shamaine Buencamino. In the film, Ronnie as the Ronnie Lazaro , is taken hostage by a bunch of kidnappers who are attempting to shoot an independent film.
Ronnie says that his co-actors and the whole production are happy about the film. He regrets, however, that he failed to be in Davao where the film was screened and given recognition.
“Hindi ako nakapunta, e. Sayang!
“The Davao crowd… you know what’s amazing?” he beams. “They have to remove The [Amazing] Spider-Man showing in two cinemas to replace it with Kidnapper because the people were clamoring for it.
“Nice, no?” says Ronnie and thanks the person who inquired about the film.
Director Sigfreid, he adds, wrote the screenplay around seven years ago. As indie projects go, only now did the filmmaker have enough funding to shoot the film.
“Nakakataba [ng puso] na the title is my name,” quips Ronnie. “But not so many people know me. [Sabi nila] ‘Ronnie Lazaro who?’”
Ronnie has starred in 70 plus mainstream and independent films. The 55-year-old actor who hails from Negros Occidental has starred in Lino Brocka’s Gumising Ka Maruja, Peque Gallaga’s Oro Plata Mata (nominated, Best Supporting Actor at the 1983 Gawad Urian), Lav Diaz’s Hesus Rebolusyonaryo, also in Tikoy Aguiluz’s Boatman (nominated, Best Actor at the 1985 Gawad Urian).
In 2009, he won Best Actor for his performance in Richard Somes’s Affliction at the Gawad Urian.
Ronnie muses, “People recognize the names of the characters in my soap, from Ana Luna, Pinong, Diego, or…
“You know, I have so many names! They call me by that. But Ronnie Lazaro? ‘Who?’”
But he's not complaining. “It’s okay. I’m glad, I’m glad. 'Tapos napabilang pa ako sa isa sa mga beautiful!”
Finally told that the magazine crowns him “The Idol,” Ronnie is incredulous yet elated.
“Ha? Talaga? I don’t know. I am humbled by the recognition at this point. I’ve been doing this for a long time and medyo…
“I’ll be 55 years old this November already. I’m old! But I’m glad. I’m really happy. Thank you!”
A reporter mentions that young actors like Coco Martin and John Lloyd Cruz look up to him as their own acting model or peg.
Ronnie exclaims in disbelief, “No! I don’t even watch my movies! I don’t watch… No, I just want to work. I like to do work and I want to make good, quality work.
“Because a God-given talent as this, you know…”
According to Ronnie, he was a commerce-accounting graduate who pursued his passion.
“Nabura yun ng acting. I forgot about accounting. Ayan ang in-asawa ko!” Ronnie chuckles.
When he’s not acting, what does a Ronnie Lazaro do?
“I’m a husband, so I go home… We actors have to be very aware that we don’t bring our characters home.
“When I go inside the house, naghuhugas ako ng pinggan!
“I’m an ordinary person, I’m still an ordinary person. But you guys are putting me up in this....” Ronnie cannot take anymore adulation.
“Do you notice my make-up?,” he jokes to break his discomfort.
On a final note he says: “I just want to be on the side lang. For me, work lang ako. Okay na ako. Work lang.”